I met with a wonderful group of positive reinforcement trainers at Whole Dog Training Academy last night to discuss methods for using social media to market their services. Additionally, they discussed creating a united resource for positive reinforcement training methods. A more upbeat, cooperative and positive group of people you will never meet. They truly embody their mission, which makes marketing their services so much easier.
They are lucky. Their target demographic is animal lovers. The internet loves animals. They will be at no lack for engaging material to share on their pages. People will follow animal organizations because the act of following says something about themselves – that they care about their pets and how well behaved they are.
One of the things we discussed is the 80/20 rule. This means that 80% of their posts on social media should be interactional (fun animal tidbits), with only 20% being transactional (marketing). As in any networking/social situation (which social media is) most people prefer a little fun small talk before getting down to business. Our gathering last night was no exception. We played games, had yummy food, got to know one another and then a short presentation on online branding through social media. (Missed the event? You can still download the Online Branding – Facebook handout).
After the presentation my mind kept going, as it tends to do when I’m excited about a topic, brainstorming potential interactional posts that would be appropriate for trainers to use. I’d like to share a few here. Feel free to share on our social media platform of choice.
Who doesn’t love happy bouncing baby goats? (maybe a good #FunFriday post)
ASPCA often offers wonderful advice for pet owners. (a great #TipsTuesday thought)
Looking to score an easy-peasy enrichment idea for the dogs in your shelter? This fun scent game wins by a nose:http://bit.ly/scentgame
Share posts of adoptable pets (possibly a Thursday or Friday post, as most adoption events happen on the weekend).
Come up with themes for each day.
I worked with Petco Foundation to set up their online branding and social media presence. We used to do a popular post called “Which One Wednesdays” which inspired plenty of conversation about the pros and cons of various breeds and provided awareness to the number of purebred pets that could be adopted through local shelters.
- if you have worked with a pet-parent on a particularly cute or unusual trick, ask if you can do a 15 second video of their pet doing the action. Post that with a credit to them. It gives potential clients something to dream about.
- Declare a theme day for clients to post photos of their pets – “Tongue out Tuesdays”, “Smiling Sundays”, “Caturday”
- Announce a Throw Back Thursday challenge – have people post a photo of their pet as a baby and then see if they can get an identical photo of their pet as an adult. It will require them using their training skills to mold the position to be the same.
What are some of your best ideas for interactional posts- some things that have inspired good engagement for you? Feel free to share them below.